Narvaez wins stage one to take maglia rosa

Narvaez wins stage one to take maglia rosa

INEOS Grenadiers (Italy) - Press Release: Narvaez wins stage one to take maglia rosa.

Jhonatan Narvaez pulled off an inch-perfect ride to claim victory on stage one of the Giro d'Italia and pull on the famous pink jersey.

The Ecuadorian unleashed one of the most impressive performances of his career, following the acceleration of Tadej Pogacar on the final climb, before timing his sprint to perfection in Turin.

Victory saw Narvaez move into pink on a day that also saw Geraint Thomas get his Giro off to a strong start. The Welshman was alert to moves late on, crossing the line in 10th place in a stage which saw the peloton vastly reduced.

Bonus seconds see Narvaez lead the race over Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) by three and six seconds respectively. Thomas sits at 20 seconds, after crossing the line alongside team-mate Filippo Ganna.

Narvaez was one of the only riders able to follow the late acceleration of Pogacar, and was glued to the Slovenian's wheel as they crested the final rise with 3km to go. With Thomas chasing behind, Narvaez played the team game perfectly on the run-in, putting the finishing touches to a perfectly executed plan with a winning sprint.

Jhonatan Narvaez: “It was a great feeling. We knew with the team one month ago it was going to be a good finish and a good stage for me. I worked a lot on it. I managed to follow the best guy in the world on the climb - it was really hard. It’s a special victory today.

“[To follow Pogacar] it still hurts me now! It was really hard. In the end I made it. I think [Pogacar] went too long - 200 metres after a really hard stage. I did a shorter sprint and in the end I took the victory.

“For me it’s amazing. I was speaking with the Sport Directors yesterday. There are not many opportunities in a Grand Tour to get the first day in the maglia rosa - you have bunch sprints, TTs and different stages. Today was a good opportunity.”

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